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NFL Denver Broncos

Denver Broncos: 5 Players Who Have Had Surprising Seasons

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5 Denver Broncos Players Who Have Had Surprising Seasons

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Chris Humphreys- USA TODAY Sports

The Denver Broncos are headed to the postseason for the third straight year. It was definitely a team effort.

With the Broncos' 11-3 record, the team is poised for a run towards the Super Bowl. The players on the roster have had solid seasons, which has reflected on the team. Of course, it also helps to have a great coaching staff led by John Fox to bring out the best in the players. There have also been some players whose performance has fell below expectation for reasons varying from injury or just not playing the level of football that they are expected to. There have not been a lot of players on the team that have done so, but it does speak volumes and decides the difference between starting a game or sitting on the bench.

It has been a team effort for the Broncos to get where they are right now. However, there is always room for improvement as the team gets set for January, and if the Broncos are going to go the distance in the postseason, they are going to need all 53 men on the active roster to step their game up in order to ensure that they are celebrating when everything is said and done.

Here are five Denver Broncos players that have had surprising seasons -- either exceeding expectations or falling below them.

Tylor Walden is a Denver Broncos writer for Rantsports.com. Follow him on Twitter @TylorDWalden, “like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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5. Montee Ball

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Chris Humphreys- USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the season, he would have been a part of the list of players that have fallen below expectation, but he has played really well as of late. He has gone from the fumble-prone rookie to quite the key player at this point of the season. There is a lot of promise for him in the future.

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4. Champ Bailey

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Ron Chenoy- USA TODAY Sports

Champ Bailey has fallen below expectations this season. Dealing with a nagging foot injury that just never seemed to get better within time. Whenever he did play, it just was not up to standards. Having him healthy now gives the Broncos a solid chance, and fans just hope that he can turn up the heat in January.

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3. Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie

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Kyle Terada

This cornerback has done a solid job with Bailey injured. With both of them on the field, it will be challenging for opposing quarterbacks to figure out who to throw to. But even in Bailey's absence, he has performed well and become a true shutdown corner.

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2. Trindon Holliday

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Chris Humphreys- USA TODAY Sports

Earlier in the season, Trindon Holliday was becoming the next Devin Hester, being able to break tackles and score on special teams. As of late, however, he has had issues holding on to the football. Not to mention, he has been injured. Fans know that he has the ability to return one to the house. Perhaps doing that will bring back his motivation.

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1. Julius Thomas

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Christopher Hanewinckel- USA TODAY Sports

Most fans were wondering where this tight end came from. Before the first game of the season, he only had one catch through his career. Now that he has double-digit touchdowns, Julius Thomas has emerged as a huge weapon, basically becoming the Broncos' version of Rob Gronkowski. Look for Thomas to have a huge impact when the playoffs hit.